Stepping Into the Awareness of NowJanuary 22nd, 2008 by John Wolfe
Have you ever pondered the significance of the mile markers, billboards, sign posts, and scenery along your daily drive? I’m talking about a deeper significance a little further below the surface. For most of us these things just blend into the periphery, becoming an ever increasing blur of shapes and colors as we’ve grown accustomed to their presence.
We stare out the windshield while our mind wades through a ton of minutia: thinking about what we did yesterday, last week, last year, and what we’ll be doing today, tomorrow, and next month without paying much attention to what’s whizzing by either side of our vehicle. Yet, what’s whizzing by us is the very reason we perceive ourselves capable of arriving at the destination we’re en route to reach.
Those trees, bushes, advertisements, pedestrians, and signage serve as points of reference. Of course, we get to where we’re going through our own inertia; however without those reference points dotting the landscape we would have no awareness of whether or not our movement was taking us anywhere and our arrival at our destination would be impossible to detect.
Just like the items that are providing the references for our journey along the highway, our past and future experiences provide reference points for our life’s journey. Unlike the points along the roadside however, most of us spend a great amount of time paying far too much attention to past events and pondering our future. We seem to get caught up in the trance of our own mind, hundreds if not thousands of times each day.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t acknowledge the past, nor am I suggesting we must disregard the future. I’m pointing to the fact we have a tendency for consistently neglecting the present; missing the understanding that all of our creative power and abilities lie in the moment of now. To grasp why this is so important, I think it’s necessary to deconstruct some concepts we have about time and the powerful hold it seems to have over us.
Where do the past and future actually exist? Where has either of these reference points ever truly existed? There’s only one place- within our mind. With regards to the past, you might be saying to yourself, “I was there. I distinctly remember the specific event unfolding. You can’t tell me it was all in my mind.” Of course you were there as it unfolded, but where is there in this present moment? How are you accessing it? You’re accessing it with your thoughts and you’re doing it in the only moment you’ve ever been able to exist within- the moment of now.
We have a tendency to strongly associate with our past because it serves as a means for internally validating and verifying who we are and where we’ve come from. But if we would sit still for a moment and let our minds quiet, we could feel that our past has never been the solid structure we’ve built it up to be. And while the future is definitely being influenced by our current thoughts and feelings, we still must be present in our moment of now as it’s our only vehicle for accessing that next future moment of now.
What I’m suggesting is that we’ve never had a past or a future in the truest sense of the words. All we’ve ever had and all we’ll ever have is the current moment in which we are aware for the sake of being aware. Our life is not one event placed in front of another and another and so on. Instead, it only exists right now and that’s all it will ever be.
Our brains do a clever job of piecing together all of the points of reference we consider to be our life experience. The brain processes millions of bits of information every second, yet we’re only capable of consciously tuning into an extremely small percentage of those bits. And even then we allow ourselves to become distracted from our present point of awareness. This little three pound organ has been wired in such a way to convince us of the legitimacy of a sequential physical experience, just as the roadside scenery indicates to us we are moving along the interstate.
We actually exist (at a deeper level of reality) in a suspended state of now, which is our true source state of being, but we’ve concocted processes and concepts like time and matter to convince us there are multiple reference points existing all around us. This is done to convey movement and progression in a sequential, linear, measurable manner; however we attach a seriousness and consequences to this progression which mean very little in relation to who and what we truly are. While all of these things are important elements for interacting within a physically based plane of existence, it’s important to keep our perspective about our true state of awareness.
If we lose sight of where our creative power resides, our lives can quite easily spiral out of control. We can see evidence of this based upon how often we lack being completely present in the now experience. A large portion of our population goes through the motions each day, yet is only focusing upon the present moment with a very small fraction of their energy and awareness. They are extremely fragmented and fractured during the entire course of their lives.
This isn’t a horrible realization or revelation to reach; on the contrary, it can serve as a vital tool for our empowerment. One of the leading causes, if not the leading cause of stress and dysfunction to the body is what I call runaway mind syndrome.
Runaway mind syndrome affects 99% of the population. This “syndrome” leads to consistent, anxious, stressful responses within the brain and the body responds in kind. This is the extreme opposite of full present awareness. I believe there is not a single disease (or dis—ease) on this planet that doesn’t stem, at a deeper level, from consistent exposure to the body’s responses to the stress brought on by the runaway mind.
Our doctors and scientists have fashioned fancy labels and names for the multitude of diseases they have encountered. These illnesses only continue to grow more plentiful because we continue to ignore the deeper causes in lieu of treating the surface symptoms. The irony in all of this is there are more disease labels now than ever, despite medical and medicinal advancements. However, they all stem from the same place and the same root cause.
There may be some who would argue the concept that we each hold the key to our own health on the basis of babies being born with seemingly irreversible illnesses. The only problem with that argument is our culture has yet to fully uncover and acknowledge the energetic imprint a child can encounter as it progresses through the gestation period.
The baby is constantly receiving information at a subtler level from its mother, via her emotions, attitudes and outlook on everything, along with the environment they’re both consistently being exposed to (even though the baby’s still in the womb). We often envision the womb as safe, but it can actually be rather severe if the child is consistently exposed to anger, rage, depression, sadness and fear. Imagine being completely isolated for nine months with access only to (primarily) one person’s ‘round the clock haphazard emotional feedback.
A mother who consistently denies the power in her moment of now and focuses upon the injustices of her past, in turn creating more of the same for her future, is doing an unborn child a great disservice (not to mention what she’s doing to herself). Even if the child does not have visible signs of illness at birth, the baby’s own thought patterns and interpretations have already been shaped, to a certain extent, by consistent exposure. We always warn expectant mothers not to drink and smoke, but we completely ignore advising them about the psychological and emotional states they are imposing upon their unborn children.
Now, I’d like to discuss a technique I use to help relieve the run away mind syndrome and minimize the onslaught of the stressful responses it elicits:
Rarely do I suggest actual exercises for my readers to follow, but I believe so strongly in the information I’ve related in this post that I feel a short exercise to help validate the above points will be extremely worthwhile and well worth the application.
Take a few minutes, sometime today or tonight and focus upon the intention to bring your mind as close to a point of complete stillness as possible. Turn off all electronic devices and isolate yourself from any distractions. Get into a relaxed position, either seated or lying down. Close your eyes and breathe deep full breaths, really feeling the diaphragm extending and contracting. You’ll know you’re fully relaxed when your limbs appear to be like dead weight. If you’ve never meditated before, give yourself some time and maybe a few practice sessions to reach this fully relaxed state.
Feel yourself journeying deeper within your awareness. Release your mind’s attachment to controlling your experience and let your higher nature take over. After you have achieved this state (don’t worry you’ll recognize it) you’ll understand what it means to not only connect with your true essence but to also focus all of your awareness into the now. You’ll have a taste for what it feels like to be at one in your present moment.
This exercise doesn’t take very long and it’s not a tough “discipline” to master. It’s sort of like re-discovering something we’ve always known how to do. If you practice it everyday it becomes easier to adapt into your active states.
For instance, if I’m feeling anxious or find my mind rambling and worrying during the day, I recall what it feels like to journey within during my meditation. I become consciously aware of my breathing and feel myself slowing down in the moment. I try and reach a heightened state of observation for whatever is happening, paying close attention to every detail and sensation within the present situation. This lessens the doubt, worry or fear and I become more present. I’m still working at it, but I am noticing progress with consistent practice.
There are other means besides meditation for reaching a state of oneness in the now and they are usually described as peak experiences. These occur when our passion and exhilaration for an experience is flowing strongly. During the event we become so consumed with our involvement that we essentially reach what feels like the suspended state of now I mentioned earlier.
We shut everything out except what’s transpiring in the present moment, thus rendering the chatty mind idle. This can happen during activities which elicit our joy as well as during some forms of exhilarating physical exercise. This is one of the reasons I always speak about following our passions in life.
Before ending this post I would again like to reiterate that I’m not suggesting we should never access memories from the past or think about our future. That would go against everything I’ve written in many of my past posts. The ideas in this entry serve as another piece of the puzzle for establishing the full awareness of the power which resides in each of us.
These concepts can be nicely merged with the previous information I’ve written about creating our reality. If we can’t eventually quiet our minds and find peace within ourselves (even on a semi-consistent basis) we will have an extremely difficult time in manifesting the life experiences we truly desire. This is due to a lack of understanding just how often our minds are in overdrive pertaining to negative concepts and ideas.
If you’ve been struggling with the previous philosophies I’ve discussed concerning our thoughts creating our reality or if you’ve watched films like The Secret and haven’t had a lot of success, you may want to try implementing the above techniques.
Even though I’ve had some success with the intentional creation of my reality, I still have many issues pertaining to the run away mind syndrome. With conscious, consistent application of the techniques, especially during stress filled situations, I’ve already noticed a positive difference in both my responses and my awareness.
If this post has been helpful to you, please consider sharing it with others and/or making a donation. Thank you for supporting Wind of the Soul.
Forgiving Our Past: Key to Unlocking a Joyful Present
Intentionally Reclaiming Our Power
Realizing Your Purpose
Podcast #3: Our Origin & Purpose
Moving Beyond Fear
Living the Placebo Effect
Abraham & the Law of Attraction
Discovering the Truths of Your Existence